Michelle Daniela Marquez Dee, a Filipina actress, model, TV host, and beauty pageant winner, was born on April 24, 1995. She was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2023 and will represent her country at the Miss Universe 2023 pageant in El Salvador.
Michelle Dee | Preliminary Competition
Michelle Dee, representing the Philippines in the 72nd Miss Universe pageant, dazzled the audience with her impressive catwalk during the evening gown segment, bringing the preliminary round to a close in El Salvador.
Michelle Dee made a powerful impression at the beginning by introducing herself as “Michelle Marquez Dee” and representing “Filipinas,” showcasing her uniqueness by wearing a red one-piece swimsuit during the swimwear segment.
Michelle Dee enhanced her initial performance by wearing a stunning emerald dress created by Mark Bumgarner. What made her performance even more impressive was her improved “air walk,” which she developed after being inspired by her mother Melanie Marquez’s “snake walk” in the national pageant.
Michelle’s gown was a nod to Marquez, who wore a similar shade when she was crowned Miss International 1979, one of the many ways Michelle’s performance celebrated the legacy of the pageant.
The designer sought to imbue the gown with a sense of power, wisdom, and transformation by incorporating emerald and black crystals that would give it a shimmering, snakeskin-like quality, reminiscent of a green viper. This design choice was yet another nod to the “snake walk” that was a central theme of the collection.
Michelle Dee was crowned as Miss World Philippines 2019 on September 15, 2019, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The finals included various competitions such as swimwear, evening gown, and two question and answer rounds.
Dee competed with thirty-nine other delegates and emerged as the winner. Outgoing Miss World Philippines 2018, Katarina Sonja Rodriguez, crowned her at the end of the event.
Dee also received several special awards during the competition, including Miss Sportswoman by Fila, Miss GCOX, Miss Best Skin by Cathy Valencia, Miss Bench, Miss Myra E, and Miss Bluewater Day Spa.
During the semifinal question and answer round, host Laura Lehmann asked Dee about the advice her mother, Melanie Marquez, who is a model and former Miss International 1979, gave her for her first beauty pageant. Michelle Dee shared her response.
“The most important advice my mom gave me was to be myself. I’m not here trying to replicate her, but I’m trying to shine as my own woman. In doing so I’ve learned how to be strong, how to be confident in myself, and to embrace every single part of my being. So thank you, Mom, and thank you to everyone who came tonight and for supporting me. It means a lot to me.”
During the last part of the question and answer session, Michelle Dee was posed with a query regarding a particular invention from the previous century that she would be thrilled to see make a resurgence. In response, she provided her answer:
“It would probably be polaroid films. I’m an avid lover of art. I love photography and I love the kind of energy and feel that polaroids give me. Just being able to lay everything out and go down memory lane is such a different feeling. Polaroids give me such a vibrant and positive energy.”
Michelle Dee emerged victorious on 13 May 2023 as she claimed the title of Miss Universe Philippines 2023. Alongside this prestigious win, she also secured the crowns for Miss Aqua Boracay, Miss Pond’s, and Miss Zion Philippines. Not only that, but she also received the esteemed award for best evening gown.
The finals consisted of two question-and-answer sessions. During the first one, Dee was presented with a thought-provoking question: “In the Philippines, income inequality persists, with a significant gap between the rich and the poor. How can we bridge this divide?” In response, she stated:
“I think first, we have to recognize what we have and the privileges that we have such as food, education, and homes. I think the best way to address this is through education because education holds no status quo. Every Filipino child has the right to an education, but not just any education, but quality education. Because I believe if the government can provide this to every Filipino child, we can not only elevate their quality of life, but we can empower them as well.”
In the second and final question and answer round, she was asked: “The Department of Tourism has adopted a new branding campaign [sic]: ‘We Give the World Our Best.'[a] For you, what is the best that we could offer to the rest of the world? Why do you consider it so?” Dee answered:
“The Philippines is home to very beautiful natural resources, from the beaches to the mountains, but I firmly believe that the best natural resource that the Philippines has is us Filipinos. We are the true heart and soul of the Philippines, with the way we are hospitable, with the warm smiles, and we are the reason the world keeps coming back for more. No matter where the universe takes me, I will always be proud to call the Philippines my home, and no matter what happens, I will always be proud to call myself Pinoy.”
At the end of the competition, she was crowned by outgoing Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi as Miss Universe Philippines 2023. Dee will represent the Philippines at the Miss Universe 2023 competition in El Salvador.
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